Humans have lived on Catalina Island for more than 10,000 years. This fascinating island was home to an extensive culture of native islanders who created art, worshiped and traveled to the mainland in open canoes. In the last 200 years, Santa Catalina was a haven for smugglers, a respite for explorers and a stopover for pirates. Just in the last century, the island was Hollywood’s playground, the Chicago Cubs’ spring training camp and the birthplace of the CIA.
This intriguing island’s history will soon have a home befitting its captivating status. On Nov. 2, the Catalina Island Museum will break ground on a spectacular new building. For nearly the last decade, the Catalina Island Museum has owned an empty lot on Metropole Avenue that was once the home of Avalon’s City Hall. From that weed-strewn lot will soon rise an architectural marvel that will become a hub of culture and community. In addition to 11,000 square feet of interior space, the new museum will feature extensive outdoor gardens and amphitheaters that will be home to events, presentations and community productions. The architectural style of the new building pays homage to the architects who crafted some of the island’s most distinctive landmarks. Construction on the project is expected to be completed early in 2015.
Can’t wait to see more? On Nov. 2, the museum is inviting the public to its formal ground-breaking at 4 p.m. In the meantime, visit www.CatalinaMuseum.org to see the vision – and the architectural drawings – of what will soon become a must-see Catalina experience.